Breathing difficulties can seriously handicap our ability to function and enjoy life. Air is our most vital source of energy and vitality. When we suffer from asthma, bronchitis, allergies, frequent colds or simply insufficient oxygen intake, we are prone to a lack of energy, vitality and /or mental clarity. Every cell within our body depends on an abundant supply of oxygen for proper metabolism and vitality. Some Causes of Breathing Problems 1. Hereditary weakness may make our lungs or other organs of respiratory apparatus weak points in our system. Thus when tired, overworked, anxious or stressed, these parts of the body will start to malfunction. This does not mean, however, that we must suffer. It is in our hands to live in a certain way so as nurture and protect our bodies and minds. Among such weaknesses we should include the inability of the immune system to effectively protect the body from microbes and viruses. In some cases the immune system may work overtime trying to protect the body from “imagined” dangers. Allergies and asthma are often the result of such over-reactions from the immune system. 2. Environmental factors may also aggravate the condition. Cold and humid weather tend to accentuate breathing problems. Pollen and other particles in the air may cause allergic reactions. Occupational conditions such as working in a dusty area or in a smoke filled room may also aggravate the problem. Pollution irritates our nasal passage and lungs. Smoking cigarettes obviously damages our lungs, cutting off our supply of oxygen. 3. An over production of mucus clogs up the breathing passages, obstructing breathing. Foods, which tend to cause excess mucus, are all dairy products, white flour, white rice and sweets. 4. A lack of sufficient liquid intake causes the mucus to thicken and cling to the lungs and other breathing passages. This creates a favorable environment for microbes to reproduce. 5. Blockages in the spinal vertebrae or tension in the muscles of the upper back may also obstruct the flow of nerve impulses and bioenergy to the lungs. This may inhibit the proper functioning of the lungs. 6. Emotional blockages are directly connected with our breathing. People, who experience anxiety, depression, fear, nervous tension or a poor self-image, tend to subconsciously hold their breath. Thus their breathing is tense, shallow, and sometimes spasmodic. Long-term emotional blockages may also affect the adrenal glands and thus hormonal disorders may also play their part in the problem. Negative emotions also depress or disturb the functioning of the immune system. 7. A lack of proper education in breathing is another reason why people suffer from breathing problems. It is entirely possible for us to learn to use our lungs more effectively for greater energy, vitality, peace and clarity of mind. This should be learned from an experienced breath coach. Some Solutions 1. Environmental & Habitual Factors a. Surround yourself with large green leafed plants, which produce oxygen and absorb pollution. b. Get out of the city frequently. Go the sea or mountains and breathe fresh clean air. c. Use regular deep breathing to clean out and rejuvenate your lungs. d. Deep breathing while walking can clean out a considerable amount of pollution from the lungs. e. If you smoke, then – love yourself – and stop. 2. Dietary Guidelines a. Avoid all diary products, white sugar, sweets, white flour and white rice. When the problem has subsided, then we can start taking small quantities of dairy products while watching the body’s reaction. b. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. c. Drink plenty (6 or 8 cups per day) of warm liquid daily. This may be water, herb teas, or water with lemon. Do not drink refrigerated or iced drinks. d. When one has a cold, an onion and garlic soup spiced with pepper, cinnamon ginger and cloves, opens up the nasal passages and allows the congestion to flow out. e. In some cases the use of natural vitamin C tablets can be helpful. 3. Facing emotional factors is essential for healing the cause of the breathing problems. There are various ways in which we can find relief from these emotional factors and then eventually analyze them and transcend them. a. Self-analysis or objective-self observation can free us from various emotional attachments and fears. b. Positive thinking, affirmations, and positive thought projection can neutralize negative emotions and tendencies. c. Various Body-centered catharsis techniques in addition to reprogramming techniques such as EMDR, TFT and EFT can free us from emotional based psychosomatic symptoms. 4. Exercises and Techniques A. With the help of various exercises and techniques we seek to: 1. Remove the blockages and tensions from the upper back and chest area. 2. Develop greater freedom and control over the muscles of breathing. 3. Bring blood and healing energies to the chest area. 4. Open up the nasal passages if they are blocked. 5. Stimulate the harmonious functioning of the adrenal glands and immune system. B. Techniques will need the guidance of an experienced coach are: 1. To start with we can simply practice deep breathing exercises. These exercises will give us relief from tension and may even bring the cause for our emotional tension to the surface so that we may see it more clearly and objectively. 2. Exercises for the upper back and chest can also bring considerable relief from emotional tensions. 3. Deep relaxation techniques are also very effective for relaxing the whole system so that the muscles of breathing may function more freely. 4. In guided deep relaxation sessions the source of the emotional blockages can be researched through regression. We can care for our bodies and minds and they will care for us.